Pancake Day – Wartime eggless pancakes


I’m re-blogging this wartime recipe for eggless pancakes with it being Pancake Day tomorrow! If you like your pancakes big and fluffy this recipe isn’t for you but they do make quite tasty thinner pancakes and I guess with only 1 shell egg a week in your ration allowance, pancakes sometimes had to go without the egg…

I shan’t be cooking pancakes tomorrow as we have vinegar cake, Anzac biscuits and carrot cookies to eat up BUT I will enjoy having pancakes Wednesday night..

Eggless Pancakes

  • 4 tablespoons of flour (UK)- 5 tbls (US) – 60 ml (Europe)
  • pinch of sugar and salt
  • milk and water to bind (vegans use non dairy milk)
  • lard or dripping to fry (vegans use a vegetable shortening – palm oil friendly)


  1. Mix the flour with the salt and sugar and add the water/milk to make a nice thick batter
  2. Heat the lard/dripping until smoking hot in the pan then lower the heat a little
  3. Pour in 1/4 of the mixture to make a medium sized pancake
  4. Cook until browned and then turn over and repeat
  5. Eat with jam, golden syrup or lemon juice (if being authentic)

Makes 4 pancakes


15 thoughts on “Pancake Day – Wartime eggless pancakes

  1. I just recently came across the weightwatchers no-flour banana pancakes – just mush up a banana, mix it with a slightly beaten egg, add some vanilla extract, a teaspoon of sugar and some cinnamon and fry like a pancake (works better to do small ones like the Americans do rather than larger crepe-type ones). Really quite good and so easy to prepare. Especially since at the moment it seems like I’m more likely to run out of flour than eggs for some reason.

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    • No- it wasn’t rationed which simply means it was available in shops to buy but you weren’t guaranteed you’d be able to get hold of it (although I don’t think there were many problems doing so) xxxxx

  3. Pancakes? With a tweak or two, this is my recipe for flour tortillas! I suppose it depends on how thick you make the thing and what toppings you put on it . . . Tasty, either way.


    If you really think you couldn’t face a scone the frugal way, ie. without dollop upon dollop of clotted cream, then drop scones are a tasty alternative, and simple too. Here is a recipe we came across in We’ll Eat Again – A collection of recipes from the war years selected by Marguerite Patten:

    Sift 4 oz plain flour with 2 level teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add 1 tablespoon dried egg powder then beat in ¼ pint milk(1/2 cup) and 2 tablespoons water.

    Grease and heat a heavy frying pan, electric solid hotplate or griddle. To test if the right heat, drop on a teaspoon of batter, this should turn golden brown on the bottom in one minute. Put the mixture in tablespoons on to the plate and leave until the top surface is covered with bubbles then turn and cook on the second side. The scones are cooked when quite firm.

    Our advice is to smother your drop scones with jam, obviously of the home-made variety using your home-grown fruit! One more thing: if you are having the vicar’s wife round for tea, there are certain rules of etiquette that need to be respected, the most important of which is whether the milk should go in before or after the tea itself. George Orwell, writing just after the war, caused a stir by declaring that it should be after, but, for this most delicate of matters, we have to refer to that bastion of British civilisation, Debrett’s, who tell us that the milk is poured first. And whatever you do, don’t dunk your biccies in polite company…. Happy teatime!

  5. Can’t wait to try these pancakes, they look so yummy!

    @Kathleen…Thank you for sharing the tea time tip. Pouring the milk first is the exceptable method today. Back in the day your station in life would have been obvious for all to see by whether you were pre-lactating or post- lactating. That is to say whether you poured the milk before or after the tea. However, it really had to do with the type of cup that was used. The poorer classes could only afford the less expensive crockery which did not tolerate heat at all. If the hot tea was poured before the milk the cup would shatter, so the milk would be poured first to cool the tea. The upper classes could afford the finest of china and could pour the milk in last without fear of the cup breaking.
    Our vessels are crafted much better today removing the issue of ‘before or after’.

    • That’s interesting; I thought it was because the lower classes may be using slightly ‘off’ milk and by pouring the hot tea on it (essentially killing any bacteria) it would render it safer to drink. Those who were not MIFs (milk in first) could presumably afford fresher milk.

    • I just tried this recipe for the first time, Bob, and the pancakes were so quick to make! Quick enough to make every morning.

      I thought the recipe would be more like crepes, since it sounds so similar except for the thickness of the batter, but these were quite “pancakey,” and I didn’t miss the egg taste. I’m not sure I could have told them apart from regular pancakes if they were side by side. Perhaps slightly in height?

      I used bacon drippings for the fat. I have been saving the grease after cooking bacon and not sure how to use it up except in cornbread or meats, but it worked wonderfully with this recipe!

      As with any pancake, the heat of your pan is critical to getting good results. Too cool, and the pancake absorbs the oil and is soggy, rubbery, and flat. Too hot a pan and the outside and bottom of the cake burns and the inside doesn’t cook. And you must make sure the pan is hot before you put in the batter, or the cake will stick to the pan. I usually find a middle heat setting works best and I just hold it there.

      Caroline, thank you for this recipe. My husband is allegic to eggs, so I was particularly keen to try it! Now, if we can only get me to share. 🙂 How many people was one batch meant to serve in WWII?

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